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October 22, 2018

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Some thoughts on the passing of Gordon Diller

You showed us that funeral directors are people just like us

By Fred Steiner
Gordon Diller’s father, Roger, once reminded us that when you see two or more local Swiss guys talking, pretty soon they are laughing.

So it was with Gordon. Nearly immediately in any conversation with Gordon, you too, were laughing.

It was good-hearted laughing.  The kind of laughing that made you feel good to be part of the everyday experience of a small town.

Beyond that, Gordon proved that funeral directors were human beings. He showed us that funeral directors have emotions beyond grief. 

Gordon always had a good story on hand on just about anyone you could mention. These reached back to his school days in Pandora. He could describe people from the era when he grew up in a way that made you want to go back and see the situation for yourself.

That was Gordon.

You liked to be around him. To sit at his table at a potluck. To stand with him and watch a parade pass by. To joke with him about quirky people in a good way - yes, it’s possible to do that. To walk by the funeral home as he mowed the lawn – wait for him to turn off the mower - just to give you a tip about something in town.

Even to attend a funeral visitation, to have him open the door for you and say, “Howdy.”

That was Gordon. You expected it. He didn’t let you down.

And, to be certain, there was a very, very natural thoughtful and caring side to Gordon. Here’s one example I witnessed concerning a death in my own extended family.

After receiving a call from the family shortly after midnight, Gordon arrived.

The very first thing he did – there were no words involved in this act of compassion – after entering the house was to give the wife of the deceased a genuine embrace.

That was Gordon. We will miss you, but we will remember you in so many thoughtful ways.

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